We hope you enjoy a new feature in our Historically Speaking column—Member Spotlight where each month we introduce you to the commission members who help preserve our county’s history.
Eric Morrell—Part of a Rare Breed
Eric has been a member of the Historical Commission since 2011. Prior to serving on the Historical Commission, Eric served 6 years in the United States Army.
When asked about his upbringing and his love of history, Eric replied, “My mom got ahold of a map of old ghost and mining towns. They would load us kids up in the 4×4 they had and we would visit the ghost towns. My great grandmothers were great story tellers and they would show me old family pictures and tell me stories of the family. That got the history bug started. I saw my first living historian in about 1974 when my grandparents took me to Yellowstone Park for the summer. We hit up all the museums up in that area. At Yellowstone National Park at the time we were there, was a living historian talking about John Coulter and Coulter’s Hell. When we moved to Williston, North Dakota, I was 11 or 12, and there was a group called Fort Union Muzzleloaders. They were Buckskinners—a branch of historical reenactment concentrating on the fur trade with different areas in the period of the Old West. We relived the mountain man era of 1800-1840s. I was 13 when I joined them and built my first black powder rifle. That started my living history. There were breaks in it after we left North Dakota and while I was in the Army, but I kept shooting and making gear.”
If you haven’t taken the time to see Eric Morrell put on a history presentation, you’re missing a heck of show. Eric takes pride in what he does and does not guess at any of his information, he knows it. Eric has a magnetism about his public speaking, and we are glad to have him on board.
–Captain Martin Gonzales
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING is written by Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman, Martin Gonzales, on behalf of the Atascosa County Historical Commission. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.